On My Bookshelf: The Wild Trees by Richard Preston

Title: The Wild Trees
Author: Richard Preston
Genre: Nonfiction: Redwood Trees, Forest Canopies, Ecology, Explorers
My Rating: 5/5

Imagine you’re crazy enough to climb a redwood tree. That’s more than 300 feet. More than 30 stories. (No thank you–I’ll stay here on the ground with my crippling fear of heights.) Now imagine sitting in the branches at the top of that tree, plucking fresh berries off the huckleberry bush that lives in the canopy. In “The Wild Trees,” Richard Preston beautifully describes the unseen world in the tops of the earth’s tallest trees. The canopies of the redwoods were once thought to be a desert, but they teem with life. Entire gardens grow in the treetops. Climbers can get lost in the branches, some of which are riddled with fire caves. Preston conveys the wonder of the canopies through the eyes of the pioneers who were some of the first explorers. I devoured this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in trees, explorers, or ecology in general. Someday, when I am able to see a redwood forest with my own eyes, I hope I feel like one of the explorers as he sits in the top of one of the trees: 

“The spiritual weight of the place seemed immense. It was as if he were waking up from a sleep, as if his life up to then had been a dream, and this was real. He felt as if he had left time behind.”  

The Wild Trees, by Richard Preston (p26)

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